Sun, 19 Feb 2017 10:02:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 SKIL 3386-01 Bandsaw Review Sun, 19 Feb 2017 10:02:00 +0000 The SKIL 3386-01 is a band saw that you can use to make very precise and detailed cuts through a variety of different materials. This is a great tool to add to your collection if you want to be able to cut jigsaws, patterns or shapes and it can also be very useful for cutting straight lines or sawing the ends off of pieces of wood. But when buying tools, it is important to take your time and consider your options. All tools are not made equally and some will definitely do a better job than others. The key is to find the right tool for your specific job and to make sure that it is well made and likely to stand the test of time.
Does the SKIL 3386-01 hold up?

What are you purchasing?

The SKIL 3386-01 is a nice looking tool that could almost be described as cute. It’s a thin red tool that has a strong, stable base allowing it to sit upright while you run your various materials through the blade. Despite its benchtop nature though, it is quite slim and the design is nicely rounded. In short, it’s a very nicely put together product with some good production values. It also feels sturdy and stable in the hand.
In terms of power and versatility, this is a 2.5 amp, 9 inch bandsaw. That gives you a decent amount of power and during our review time, we found it was plenty capable of all the jobs we threw at it – as long as we worked within its limitations. It’s ideal for cutting our irregular shapes and the power is enough to easily move the wood around underneath without having to apply too much pressure – when using woods and other softer materials.
Also included is a rack and pinion table adjustment. This makes it easy for you to quickly alter the height and angle of the material you’re cutting through and that in turn means that you can not only find the position that is most comfortable for you to work at for long periods, but also find the perfect angle for the intended cut that you want to make. A rip fence and miter gauge further help with making perfectly straight cuts or cross cuts, which will ultimately result in more precise end products.
Otherwise, you have a few nice features thrown in for good measure. There’s an LED light for example, which makes sure that you can see what you’re doing as you cut. There’s also a dust port for easy dust collection.

Pros and Cons

There’s a lot to like about this bandsaw. The tool is very attractive to look at and while it is quite tall, the thin profile and sleek design help it to blend seamlessly into your workshop. It’s also a joy to use thanks to the pivoting table, the decent amount of power and the extra features like the LED light and dust port.
Unfortunately nothing is perfect though and the first downside you’ll notice when using it, is that it tends to wobble quite a lot when under pressure. This can be frustrating and especially if you are trying to make a very fine cut.
It’s also worth noting that this isn’t the most powerful tool out there. This is a powerful bandsaw for the price you are paying, but it is still very much aimed at hobbyists and not those who run their own woodworking business. For those who want something top of the range, you will need to keep looking. Otherwise, this is a cute and spunky little bandsaw.


On the whole, this is a great product as long as you know what to expect. This is not a top-of-the-line machine that’s going to chew through any job you give it. However, it is more than capable of doing simple cuts and is ideal for the hobbyist who wants something that will look good in their workshop and not take up too much space. It’s nice to look at, it doesn’t cost too much and it is definitely a useful addition to your roster if you don’t already own a bandsaw. Overall, this comes recommended for hobbyists.

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Black & Decker RP250 Plunge Router Review Sun, 19 Feb 2017 09:27:58 +0000 There are two types of ‘cheap’ tools in this world.
One type is the type that just works. You pick it up for the first time and it glides through the material that you’re trying to cut into, plunge into, or screw into. It makes work that was previously laborious seem utterly simple and easy and you wonder why you never got it sooner. It just works. Better yet, this type of tool also tends to work for a long time. We’ve all had routers or jigsaws – even cameras – that just stand the test of time and survive multiple falls and drops and outperform themselves at every opportunity.

Then there are the tools that are a little more ‘difficult’. These are the tools that don’t quite work right when you first get them out of the packaging. They require extra set-up, they’re surprisingly fiddly, they keep jamming… maybe they ruin the wood you’re trying to cut through. And in less than a year, you find yourself looking for a replacement! These are the ones that lead people to say ‘well, you get what you pay for!’.

So now the question is: which type of tool is the Black & Decker RP250 plunge router? It’s certainly affordable but can it punch above its weight?

What’s included in the Package ?

This is a plunge router with handles on either side and that has an almost anthropomorphic design that is very likeable. The device has very visible suspension for the plunging action and a large body so that the two handles look like arms and the springs look like legs. It is nicely made with lots of curved edges and plenty of shine and the black, orange and grey colorscheme is nice too.
As a plunge router, this allows you to punch perfect holes into your surface, or to start from the middle of a piece of wood. This is some great added versatility to what is already a very versatile tool (everyone should have a router). The plunge depth is 2-1/4 inch, which is also very decent. The router also offers a decent amount power thanks to a 10 amp motor and has all the usual features to allow for cleaner and smoother cuts. For instance, there is the gradual start function and the electric feedback.
Also included in the package are a 1/4inch collet and wrench and an adjustable parallel edge guide for making nice straight cuts.

To use, this is an absolute joy. The two handles are very ergonomically designed and the router is easy to move around on your surface. The power is also decent bearing in mind the price and size of the device and you shouldn’t have any problem cutting through most surfaces. It also has a few nice extras and features. Speeds are variable for instance, which is great for finding the right setting to work with whatever material you’re cutting (8,000 to 27,000 RPM to be precise). Then there’s the ‘sightline base’ which is designed to give you better visibility (we didn’t massively notice this in our review but had no problems with visibility), an easy-to-use depth scale for ensuring accuracy, a spindle lock for easy bit changes and a safety-conscious trigger switch.

Advantages & Disadvantages

This is a tool with a fair amount of features and decent performance considering the price and size. It performs well and will surprise you in terms of just how nice it is to use. But it is a low-end router and it’s important that you keep this in mind before you make your purchase. There is no way to attach guide bushings for instance and it can be tricky getting a straight cut. It’s also obviously not the powerful tool in the world – but you knew that already!


Overall, this is a great beginner tool for those just learning the basics and is not suitable for advanced or even mid-level DIYers. But if you get this thing now, you can rely on it to do a good job and it might just surprise you occasionally. And one day in the distant future, you will find it lying on the floor and be pleasantly surprised to see it still works. This is one of the good kinds of budget tool!

Continue with your purchase on Amazon.

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WEN 6510 Oscillating Spindle Sander Review Mon, 13 Feb 2017 13:30:29 +0000 A good spindle sander is a basic tool that belongs in every home improvement fan’s collection. A spindle sander essentially allows you to smooth off curved edges and cuts. Once upon a time, these devices would need to be mounted on bench tops and worktops but today, they take a much smaller and more portable form factor, in some cases even being handheld.

An oscillating spindle sander meanwhile is a sander that has a tube that moves up and town as it rotates. This is ideal for quickly smoothing off a curved edge or cut and is a good choice if you find yourself making lots of furniture.

And when it comes to choosing an oscillating spindle sander, then the WEN 6510 is a great choice. Let’s take a closer look in our full review…

Product Description: A Surprisingly Powerful Sander in a Tiny Form Factor

The WEN 6510 oscillating spindle sander is a sander that has been designed primarily for portability and ease of use. It is a great choice for smoothing arcs, curves and contors and should play nice with all manner of other unusual shapes.

One of the great things about the WEN 6510 is just how easily you can swap out the plates and drums. This means that you can quickly adapt your unit to suit the task in hand. And because the device is so light, it can be easily moved around.

Despite the light weight and small size, the WEN 6510 is actually a surprisingly powerful sander. It has a 3.5 Amp motor which is capable of 58 oscillations and 2000RPM. It has a very ergonomic grip and is generally comfortable to use as well as being so light.

Pros and Cons: Portable but Plastic

The biggest pro when it comes to the WEN 6510 oscillating spindle sander is just how quick and easy it is to use. In our testing, we found that it was a simple matter to reach for the sander, set it up for the job we were working on and then get to work with it. There are lots of great little design choices that only further enhance this convenience. The packaging can be used to carry the attachments for example, while the onboard storage is also very impressive and allows you to keep all your spindles, washers and sleeves all in one place. A dust port means you can add dust collection as well, which always helps. And the product comes with a generous 2-year warranty!

As for the downsides, you are getting a somewhat affordable and relatively ‘entry level’ sander here. Despite a more-than-capable motor driving the whole thing, this still isn’t going to be winning any ‘most powerful’ prizes and thus a professional might want something a little larger (though of course that will mean sacrificing some portability)…

Another consideration is that this is made largely from plastic. That would seem to suggest that the resilience won’t be as high as some more sturdily-built sanders – but we haven’t had any problems in our tests and the reviews also seem happy with the durability. There’s also a 2 year warranty to help with this.

Oh and one more big positive would have to be the price. At just over $100, this is a great bargain.

Conclusion: A Solid Mid-Range Choice for Hobbyistss

Overall, the WEN 6510 oscillating spindle sander is a well-design and surprisingly powerful sander that is incredibly small and light. This is a highly versatile machine that will handle most jobs with ease and that won’t take you too long to set up. You can have it to hand and simply grab it whenever you need it.

The only caveat to all this, is that this is a light and budget machine. It’s not going to be the most powerful choice if you’re looking to tackle huge projects and professionals might want to look elsewhere. But if it’s a budget or mid-range product you’re looking for, then this is a safe choice.

In fact, the WEN 6510 oscillating spindle sander often finds itself topping lists of the best oscillating sanders and there are a ton of good reviews for the product. Overall, this is a trusted name and a great device that you can rely on for an appealing price.

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Review: Leica D110 60 m Geosystems Laser Distance Measure Tue, 07 Feb 2017 10:01:55 +0000 The Leica D110 60 m laser distance measure is a no frills laser measurement tool, but don’t let that put you off. For the right audience, this is actually all you need! A laser measurement tool does exactly what it says on the tin. This is a device that uses a laser in order to take a very precise measurement that you can then use for making precise cuts, choosing the right sized piece of wood and generally improving the speed and accuracy of your work. It works by firing a small laser which will then bounce directly back to the device. The device knows how quickly this should happen and thus it can use that information to calculate distance.

That means you can forget using your tape measure to make every cut and can instead start working much more quickly and accurately. This means you can say goodbye to tables that rock around when you place any weight on them and instead enjoy a much higher standard of finished product. It can also be useful for interior design, for making floor plans and for a range of professions.

Product Description: Small, Compact and Accurate

The Leica D110 60 m laser distance measure is one of the more affordable options from Leica. Other models have a range of advanced features, even including the ability to use a camera to target particular points on the screen and then zoom in to them to take a measurement that way.
But these features aren’t going to be necessary for DIY hobbyists and the like and in that case, there’s no need to spend over the odds. The Leica D11 60 m laser distance measure is a laser measure and nothing more and is perfect for making quick measurements.

That said, there are also some nice additional features. For instance, you get IP54 dust and water resistance, which will be very handy indeed when you’re leaving it lying around in highly dusty workshops. It’s also shock resistance and will survive a small fall and has Bluetooth for quickly sending your measurements to an iPad or laptop.

On top of all that, it’s also perfectly small to fit into a pocket.
Range is 0.20-60mm and it is accurate up to 1.5mm.

Pros and Cons: Small and Perfectly Forms

This is one of the more affordable laser measures on the market but you’ll still be able to benefit from the recognized Leica brand and the excellent accuracy. This is more than accurate enough for the vast majority of hobbyists and woodworkers and only professional property developers and other industry specialists are really going to need more features.

The flip out extension is also very good and allows you to get a firm grip against a piece of wood or a pillar for example. The small size is also a plus size, as it means you can slip this in a pocket and bring it with you just in case you need to measure something. Yes, you can be ‘that guy’.

But on the downside, you do of course lose out on some of the advanced functionality that you get with more expensive options. IP54 is slightly lesser than the protection you get from some of the others for example. Likewise, the 1.5mm accuracy is a step down from more expensive models like the X310. Then there’s the lack of level (which is missing in all the Leica laser measures). You’re also missing out on some of the sensors that can help to ensure that the device is able to measure at strange angles or around obstructions.

Conclusion: A Pleasure to Measure

In short, this is a smart, compact and accurate measuring device that can greatly improve the quality of your work. It lacks the most advanced features like the screen and isn’t quite as accurate as the top-end offerings but for most people, that isn’t going to be a problem. For a hobbyist or even a casual professional, there isn’t a compelling reason to spend more than this on a device that ultimately does the same thing as a tape measure.
That said, once you’ve used a laser measure, you won’t want to go back!

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The Swiss Army Knife of Laser Levels: Leica Lino L2P5! Tue, 31 Jan 2017 14:32:08 +0000 When you’re going about your business as usual, you likely won’t think much about where the ground is. This is something that we pretty much take for granted and we assume that when we need it, it will be there.

But then when you’re being paid to do work on someone’s home, suddenly the simplest task becomes very difficult. Cutting a straight line in a piece of wood, or drilling holes that are perfectly level and not sloping up at an angle is much harder than you might expect and thus you will find you need all the help you can get!

Fortunately, help is here in the form of the Leica Lino L2P5. This is a self-levelling line and point laser tool. But what does all that mean and is it a good choice when compared with other gadgets that do the same thing? Read this Review!

The Swiss Army Knife of Laser Levels

Leica calls this product the ‘Swiss army knife of laser levels’ and in many ways, that is a fair description. The device can produce 180 degree horizontal and vertical lines, has a wide 180 degree fan angle and four laser points calibrated to 90 degree angles. You can place this device in the corner of a room and use it to lay out pretty much the entire design.

What puts this above a lot of the competition though is the leveling pendulum. This tells you if the line is out of level by blinking and disabling the dots from point mode. The machine will then alter its angle to address the problem, so you can always be 100% sure that you’re getting the perfect alignment.

If you want to turn off the self-leveling though, then you can simply lock the pendulum in place and that will allow you to measure out angled lines.

The device itself is sturdy and relatively small, though not enough to fit in a pocket or be carried without the included bag. It will attach nicely to a tripod, or you can use the also-included target plate or magnetic adaptor. The Leica Lino L2P5 is highly versatile and should be suitable for a vast range of applications.

Pros and Cons: Level Up!

The Leica Lino L2P5 is one of the best line and dot lasers we’ve reviewed. While it is a little on the pricey side, all line and dot lasers are and what you’re getting here makes it superior to many of the competitors in terms of the value for money.

The self-leveling pendulum, fan angle and other features all help to improve your workflow and save time setting things up. The included pouch, batteries and mounting options increase the value further and the design is sturdy, relatively good looking and great well made overall.

What can also be said for the Leica Lino L2P5, is that the laser lines produced are very clearly visible. This is a green line and of course it’s up to you whether that’s your preference – it’s unlikely to be a deal breaker for most people though!

Reviews are also very good, basically praising the quality and the feature set. Note that this is intended for interior use.

Conclusion: A Good Option for Leveling

If you want to level up your DIY game, then the Leica Lino L2P5 is a good option. It packs a whole lot of functionality into its form factor and is well made with lots of options for expanding later on. It is clearly designed for professionals and the array of different features should ensure that it meets any requirements that you might have at any level.

Of course, it is a little pricey and if you’re looking for a cheap and cheerful way to find ‘down’, then this isn’t it. Your mileage may also vary when it comes to which of these features you actually need. A good rule of thumb when buying hardware for your DIY and home improvement though, is to look for something with more features than you need. That way, as you improve and develop your skills, the hardware you have will be able to keep up with you and you won’t find yourself spending even more money to upgrade your entire toolkit!

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Leica DISTO X310 Review: One of the best? Mon, 30 Jan 2017 14:20:12 +0000 A laser distance measurer can provide you with incredibly accurate distance measurements that will greatly help your accuracy when it comes to building furniture and working on other woodworking or DIY projects.

These devices help you save time and remove the uncertainty that comes from using a tape measure to make a small mark in pencil and then hoping that you were holding the ruler straight…

The Leica DISTO X310 is one of the most popular laser distance measurers on the market and has a lot of fans. Let’s take a closer look and see if this is a good choice for your own workshop and whether there are any drawbacks you need to be aware of.

Product Description: Durable, Accurate and Reliable

To look at, the Leica DISTO X310 is a well made and premium feeling device. DIY tools don’t tend to have the best build quality or design but in this case, you can a sleek gadget around the size of an old Nokia 3310 and with a nice black and red color scheme. The LED screen is also very bright and large enough to be able to easily read the information presented. There are several buttons and these are easy enough to navigate and understand with just a little bit of practice finding your way around.

One very good feature of the Leica DISTO X310 is just how robust it is. This is very important for DIY work, seeing as we do have a tendency to drop our tools. To drop tools on top of our tools. And to cover everything in dust. And occasionally we smash them with hammers, just for good measure…

The Leica DISTO X310 is IP65 water and dust resistant, which means that it won’t get damaged when you’re creating a cloud of sawdust as you saw. It can also be dropped from 2 meters and will bounce without any damage.

As you would expect from a device like this, it will make 100% accurate measurements of heights and lengths and can work at indirect angles too thanks to a tilt sensor working at 360 degree angles. This means that you don’t need to worry too much about your unsteady hand – the device will compensate for your inadequacy!

There is also a mode for measuring distances with obstructing objects, height tracking and more. The measuring accuracy is 1mm and the range anything from 0.05 to 80 meters.

Pros: Excellent Durability, Design and Accuracy

In short, the Leica DISTO X310 is one of the best in its category. It looks and feels great to use and is highly accurate with lots of useful features.

The real killer app of this tool though is the water and dust resistance. This should come as a big relief for those who have seen their other tools bite the dust (pun intended) and is a very welcome feature.

Of course, nothing is perfect however. One thing missing here is a level, which could have been very handy and would have been a smart fit. It is also a very expensive device and seeing as a laser measuring tool like this is not essential for DIY, some people will likely choose to go without. You can make do with a tape measure and some pencil marks!

Conclusion: One of the Best

That doesn’t change the fact that the Leica DISTO X310 is one of the best at what it does. The lack of level is a little disappointing but the water and dust resistance are excellent, the range is very good indeed and the accuracy is spot-on.

All this means that this tool can serve as a life-long partner in crime, saving you a lot of time and helping you to make more accurate measurements. At the end of the day, that results in tables that don’t rock when you lean on them and to many, that is going to be a smart investment.

But if you’re happy to do things the old-school way, then of course you can make do with a tape measure and a pencil. You can claim that the wonky nature of your bookshelves is part of their charm and you did it on purpose…

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Stanley STHT77138X Laser Distance Measurer TLM99 Review Sun, 29 Jan 2017 11:30:44 +0000 A distance measure can be a very useful tool for a huge range of different applications. Whether you’re doing DIY woodwork and making your own chest of drawers, whether you’re measuring out the space in your front room to try and fit furniture, or whether you’re a professional landscaper, interior designer or surveyor… being able to measure exact distances is often a very useful ability and doing this with a small laser device really beats trying to do it with a tape measure and a pencil!

These are useful gadgets no doubt and Stanley is of course a well-respected and very well-recognized brand. So is this a match made in heaven? How does the Stanley STHT77138X Laser Distance Measurer TLM99 hold up?

Product Description: Low-End but Decent

In terms of the price and features, the Stanley STHT77138X Laser Distance Measurer TLM99 is very much a more budget option for your laser distance measurers. It’s possible to get all kinds of advanced features on these things, including cameras with ‘point finders’ for use outdoors. At the least, some distance measures will allow you to point your laser and draw a straight line from top to bottom using a lot of different sensors.

But this model lacks those kinds of additional features. And unfortunately, it also lacks a little common sense in terms of some of the design choices. Let’s rewind for a moment…

On the face of it, this is decent enough laser measure. It is a small hand-held unit which is straightforward without any real frills. It is yellow and black, which while not particularly attractive, is well suited to most worksites and will be easy to spot when you’re looking for it in a pile of tools and appliances.

The device has a single LCD screen and a few buttons beneath. But this is where things first start to get a little disappointing. Those buttons are rigid and quite wobbly for instance. In our testing, we found we had to apply a little pressure to get this to work. Seeing as the base isn’t terribly stable, this actually causes the device to move – thereby negatively influencing the readings!

There’s no backlight on the screen either, so it is hard to see in the dark. It also doesn’t have a way to fix it to a tripod and has no built-in level. The range is only 100 foot, which is quite short by most standards.

Pros and Cons: You Get What You Pay For

The pros of this device mainly revolve around the price, the compact design and the simple operation. If you’re a hobbyist looking to do some work around the house at the weekend, then it might just be a good choice. But for professionals or more serious DIY enthusiasts, this is a hard one to recommend owing to the lack of some basic functionality and the absence of several important features.

That’s because of the long list of downsides, including the lack of a proper fold out attachment, the lack of tripod attachment, the wobbly base, the rigid buttons without any tactile feedback, the short range and the dark screen! One more issue was that a few people found that it had some rather difficult-to-understand instructions.

Don’t get us wrong, this product does work and will take accurate measurements under the right conditions. In that scenario, it will provide you with readouts that are accurate down to 1/32 of an inch. If you’re willing to fiddle a bit and want something affordable, then it’s an okay pick. But there are better, even at this price point.

Conclusion: Not Our Top Pick

In conclusion then, the Stanley STHT77138X Laser Distance Measurer TLM99 is certainly not our top pick for laser measure tools! There are better out there, even at a budget price and this one just has too many unfortunate design choices to really recommend. Nevertheless, it’s still ‘fit for purpose’ and isn’t too expensive, so if you want a product by Stanley or if you can’t find one for less, then go ahead. Just don’t expect the best laser measure on the market and you should be relatively satisfied with what you get…

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Spectra LL100N-2 Precision Laser Level Review Sat, 28 Jan 2017 22:27:40 +0000 The Spectra LL100N-2 Precision Laser Level is a complete leveling crew built into a compact case. This means you can easily carry it with you and ensure that everything is level and even wherever you are. It’s excellent for being used on job sites and boasts the excellent quality and accuracy that Spectra is known for.

Product Description: An All in One Leveling Solution

This case includes the laser (of course), the tripod, receiver and clamp, grade rod and alkaline batteries and all of it comes in a nice hard shell in bright yellow for easy visibility. It’s simply a smartly put together package that should be quick and easy to use and that will definitely provide the accuracy you need.

In fact, operation is as simple as a single button press. It also has other time-saving features, seeing as it has a particularly long battery life.

The whole package looks very practical and built to last and indeed it is. Spectra claims that the package can survive a 5 foot drop without damage and if the tripod tips over, then it won’t cause any damage. Tip: if the tripod tips over, then it ‘aint level!

Of course, the tripod is only one way to use the level, while the other is to use the wall mount to attach it at the desired elevation. The device will detect whether it is being used horizontally and will then adapt appropriately.

The Spectra LL100N-2 Precision Laser Level will use a 360 degree plane of laser light to cover entire work areas and can take measurements up to 500 feet.

There’s no mention of the precise accuracy but the reviews and the Spectra brand should mean you can buy in confidence without having to worry about any imperfections.

Pros and Cons: Leveling the Playing Field

Many of the pros of this product revolve around its form factor and easy use. Having everything in one case is an excellent advantage and it means that you simply need to grab it by the handle and bring it with you to the worksite or wherever else you might need a level. That case also adds to the resilience, as does the excellent durability of the equipment provided. This is another big plus and when combined with the impressive 3 year warranty, it should last long enough to get more than your money’s worth.

Of course, just how useful this is for you is going to depend on your intended usage. If you’re into home improvements, then you might not need the bright yellow hard case or impressive shock resistance and that means you might be able to get the same thing elsewhere for less money.

The other advantage of the Spectra LL100N-2 Precision Laser Level is just how quick and easy it is to use. In our tests, the one button operation really was a big boon and helped us get accurate measurements quickly. All other readings are on the receiver with an image, which makes everything clear and means you aren’t left guessing when it comes to the sensitivity. The product isn’t over-engineered and that’s a real selling point.

The only potential concern is the receiver window which can be a little tricky to see through. Not a huge deal but something to consider.

Conclusions: A Solid Purchase

The Spectra LL100N-2 Precision Laser Level is a solid purchase both literally and figuratively. With incredible durability and the additional hard case, this is a level that will stand the test of time and that is well suited to more active workplaces. Then again, this might be overkill if you’re just a hobbyist, so you don’t necessarily need to fork out extra in that case.

What you may not realize, is that Spectra is actually the biggest manufacturer of levels in the world. This tells you that they know what they’re doing and means you can assured that you’re getting some serious accuracy and performance from a company that does this all day long. Definitely a good purchase and one that you can rely on – just decide first whether you really need all of the design features that you’re paying for with this one!

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Topcon RL-H4C Review: A powerful level! Fri, 27 Jan 2017 11:39:54 +0000 Rotating Laser levels are essential tools for a wide range of jobs and particularly in construction and surveying. Of course a laser level’s job is to ensure that the everything is built on the same level and that it will be perfectly horizontal or vertical. If this isn’t achieved then there’s a good chance that any construction is going to fall down!

Otherwise, a level can be used for basic home improvement – you can use it to ensure that curtains are hung straight for example, or that you drill holes that are all properly aligned. Whatever the case, laser levels have a range of applications and are incredibly useful; the trick is just to get the right system for your own applications.

How does the Topcon RL-H4C stack up? Let’s take a look…

 Everything You Need to Get Leveling

The Topcon RL-H4C rotary laser level provides everything you need to start taking accurate measurements and is ideal for taking onto worksites thanks to its handy carry case that will protect it from falls and accidents.

The case is a durable yellow plastic that is easy to spot and that will protect your equipment from falls and other accidents. The Topcon RL-H4C packed within is similarly yellow with a firm, rigid construction that you know can survive a few drops. It also has wo front handles for easy carrying and comes with a range of extras such as a bracket for attaching to beams, batteries and a handheld control. There’s also a warning sign to alert people on site about the laser.

The tool is incredibly quick to use and to find a level and includes self-leveling motors to ensure that you don’t need to fiddle with it yourself. Just set it and forget it! The high powered 2.4mW diode is also especially effective and gives a very impressive 800m diameter for the working reference. That means you can leave it in one place and measure out an entire property. There’s also a rechargeable battery and when all this is combined it becomes a much more powerful level laser than what is offered by the majority of manufacturers.

The product also impresses with its IP66 water resistant housing, which will mean it can be used in heavy rain and that it won’t be damaged by all the dust created on a typical worksite. And in case you’re not impressed enough with the excellent durability, there’s also a 5 year warranty so you can be extra sure it’s not going to die before its time!

Pros and Cons: Amazing Power, Accuracy and Durability

This product essentially offers everything you could need to bring with you onto the worksite. It is designed to handle a wide range of construction levelling tasks with ease and is very quick and simple to operate. In our review period, we found the self-leveling one of the biggest advantages of all. With no screws or bubble vials, you simply just set it up and it’s good to go. Manual slope functioning allows you to match a slope up to 5 degrees.

We were also very impressed with the sheer power and the huge radius. And businesses will love the amazing warranty and incredibly study construction.

All in all then, this is a particularly impressive laser level that we can recommend whole-heartedly. The only slight disappointment is the lack of included tripod. Many other products do include a tripod and this means you’re going to have to add to the price by getting one separately. Certainly not a deal breaker though and you should find you can find bundles if you’re willing to look around.

Conclusion: Top Quality for Serious Professionals

In short then, this is one of the most powerful laser levels on the market right now and is all the more impressive too thanks to its self-leveling and complete lack of leveling screws or bubble meter. It’s highly durable and perfectly suited to the worksite – it’s only a shame that you’ll need to buy the tripod separately.

And of course, this is only going to be useful for real construction work. For those who want a level to use around the house, there are cheaper options available with less rugged construction and fewer advanced options.

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Leica Disto d810 Review Fri, 20 Jan 2017 11:55:11 +0000 The Leica Disto d810 is a high end laser measurement tool that will help you to make perfectly accurate measurements and that comes packed with all of the premium features that you could possibly be looking for.

When it comes to DIY and woodwork, accuracy is everything. You’ll often find yourself measuring the length of pieces of wood, measuring indents so that you can make joins and more. Get this wrong and you can end up with a piece of furniture that rocks when you lean on it (leading to many spilled cups of coffee) or picture frames that don’t hang straight. For those of us with OCD, there is little worse…

But is the Leica Disto d810 worth it for you? Do you need to shell out this much on your measuring tool when a piece of tape measure will do the same job? Let’s take a closer look…

Product Description: Professional Grade Accuracy

This is one of the nicer looking tools that you’ll have on your workbench, even if that isn’t saying much. Spend this much on a laptop ($704) and you’re looking at something with a premium, chrome finish and a stunning 4K screen. Spend it on a tool and you’re looking at a rubbery phone. Still, the black and red makes for a nice colorscheme and the screen is large and bright. It just feels a bit like a phone from the 90s…

But that design is there for a reason. This tool is IP54 certified, meaning that it is highly splash and dust resistant. That is great news for woodwork because, as you no doubt know, this has a tendency to kick up a fair amount of sawdust that gets into everything. With the Leica Disto d810, you can rest assured that’s not going to be a problem and that your device will keep working.

The screen also serves a purpose. This has a point finder camera with a 4x zoom. That means that you can find the exact point and distance you want to measure and use cross-hairs on the screen to line it up. This will speed up your workflow and make for more accurate measurements.

The device is capable of measuring up to 650ft or 660ft with a 1mm accuracy. Outdoors, you can measure up to 820ft with a 1/16” accuracy.

That is extreme pin-point accuracy and added features help you to avoid obstructions and measure at unusual angles.

Pros and Cons: Great Connectivity but Not Necessary for Everyone

The Leica Disto d810 is no doubt a professional piece of technology and will come in very useful for architects and property developers as well as home improvement fanatics. The camera lets you take screenshots to go along with your measurements and the Bluetooth connectivity means that you can quickly upload all this information to your computer or to the cloud. It’s great for working in teams. The extreme accuracy and dust resistance are also great bonuses.

But not all of these features are going to be ‘must-haves’ if you are mainly a hobbyist. If you are looking for a tool to help measure out sheets of wood for home-made furniture, then you don’t really need this kind of distance and the camera and screen are only going to occasionally be of use.

And on the downside, it does feel that some of these features have been a little poorly implemented at the price point. There’s no ‘pinch to zoom’ here, instead you need to press a button, watch the screen go blank and then wait for it to refresh with the zoomed in picture. It’s small and grainy and while it’s great for a measuring tool, it’s far from being at the standard of a smartphone camera.

Conclusion: A Professional Tool for Professional People

If your job revolves around making precise measurements and you can see yourself making use of the camera, then this is a great purchase. And it’s tax deductible so why not?

But then again, you are also spending a lot of money for features that not everyone will need. Hobbyists can make do with the Leica Disto X310 and still enjoy a more than capable device.

And it’s just a shame it doesn’t ‘feel’ a little more premium…

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